Young punters do not usually have an easy go of it in the NFL. Most teams strive for consistency in the punting game and the punters who are most sought-after are those who have the most experience.
For example, Redskins punter Tom Tupa, out for the season with a back injury, is a 17-year veteran who would almost certainly be punting for the Redskins right now if not for his injury.
On Monday, the Redskins opted to make a move at punter, going from one young punter to another. First-year punter Andy Groom was released by the Redskins after playing in two games.
To replace Groom, the team signed Derrick Frost, a second-year punter out of Northern Iowa.
In explaining the move, head coach Joe Gibbs indicated that the team preferred the hang time and distance that Frost's punts provided over Groom's.
"We were fortunate enough to get some rolls," Gibbs said of Groom's punting. "We tried to emphasize last week that we need a better ball for us there. It was just an evaluation thing. We really like Andy, but we just felt like we needed to make a move for the team."
Frost kicked for the Cleveland Browns last season in his first extensive NFL experience. He logged 85 punts for a 40-yard average and a 35.4-yard net average. He hit 24 inside the 20 and had only four touchbacks.
Frost, who lost his job in Cleveland to veteran punter Kyle Richardson, is grateful for the second chance.
Ask him about the punt and he knows exactly what you're referring to: last November, Frost kicked an 8-yard punt out of the end zone in the Browns' nationally televised game against Baltimore last year.
Even though the snap was low, Frost shanked the punt off the side of his foot. The Ravens got the ball at the Browns' 9-yard line and went in for the game-winning touchdown.
That's all in the past, Frost said on Monday at Redskins Park.
"This is a crucial year for me to show people that I can still get it done," Frost said. "As a young guy, when something like that happens, it's kind of a black eye because in this league you are only as good as your worst punt. I am really fortunate that I got another shot. I'm going to make the most of it."
Frost, 24, was surprised that he was able to sign with a team so quickly.
"I had a lot of faith that I was eventually going to sign somewhere," he said. "I knew the Redskins liked me, but I was a little surprised it happened this early. Usually, teams wait until the fourth or fifth week of the year before making a move."
Added Gibbs: "We like Derrick's mental attitude toward things. We did a lot of research on him and [special teams coordinator] Danny Smith liked him. He has experience. We felt like he was somebody who adds something to our team."